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Bicyclist hit, killed by IMPD cruiser remembered as a kind man


LATEST: IMPD on Aug. 7, 2023, identified the officer involved in the crash as Mark Brown. He’s been with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department for two years.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department identified the person hit and killed by a police officer while riding his bike as 34-year-old Joseph Stiger.

Police are searching for the vehicle some say caused the tragic chain of events. Community members who knew the victim say there are traffic dangers in the 3200 block of East 10th Street.

Community members say Stiger went by “Fly Guy.” They say he didn’t have much but always had a friendly word, and knowing he lost his life is hard to accept.

The community is asking the driver who officers say didn’t yield, to come forward.

This memorial is a loving gesture but a tragic reminder that Stiger died here going about his daily routine riding his bike.

“It’s a guy the whole neighborhood knew his name was “Fly Guy,” and he was homeless. He would help anybody out. He’d give anybody anything they wanted and we decided to bring down bears for him,” said Resident Cindy Martinez.

Tuesday afternoon IMPD sways an officer was responding to a call when a vehicle failed to yield the right of way. While trying to avoid running into that driver, the cruiser ended up hitting Stiger.

IMPD Police Chief Randal Taylor said, “Of course, the whole IMPD family, our thoughts and prayers are with that man’s family. Truly a tragic accident that occurred. We’re still investigating.”

Community members who didn’t see the impact said they heard it and watched the emotions explode for the officer involved and the community.

“Just walking down here and seeing the windshield of the cop car caved in, and I mean, he’s a good officer. He’s out here, and he comes around, and he checks on you,” said Resident Carla Perez.

Depending on the time of day, it is easy to get caught stuck in traffic, but when the flow of cars is moving, Lauren Miller says, it can get dangerous. An SUV hit her back in March, so to watch a man she knows not make it is hard.

“We became a community around here more than anything, and when it’s one of your people that passed away, you always think about the family, his children, and his loved ones,” Miller said.

This is a tragedy that people around here will remember for a while, and they hope it serves as a reminder for drivers to slow down and pay attention.

“He rushed right in front of him, and now we lost a life just because of something that stupid,” Martinez said.

Police say they are following several leads but did not describe the other vehicle.